Official Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest Submission Page 2019

It’s here!!!

The first annual Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest is here!

Your chance to share your writing, interact with other writers, get inspired, and hopefully win some super awesome prizes is here!

So what do you do to enter???

First

Remember to thank our generous donors by visiting their websites, sharing about them, buying their books, requesting them from your library, and reviewing them.

Also, don’t forget, October is an amazing month for kidlit opportunities. If you haven’t checked them out, here’s a few awesome one:

#PBCritiqueFest
Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie Contest
#Inktober
#10Queries

Second

Make sure to review the rules before you submit (like word limit 200, due by Oct 11th 11:59 PM PST, one entry per person, etc. etc.). The same post has all 51 prizes listed, too! (like picture book critiques, first chapter MG/YA critiques, signed books, and more).

And if there’s any issues, let me know. Especially typos. I am a Typo Queen. Seriously, I need to make a crown.

Third

Post your story. You can post it to your own blog or in the comments below.

Or, if you’d prefer being anonymous, use the contact form at the bottom, and I will add you to the form a “Anonymous.”

Fourth

Submit your information to the orange-red Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy form below (unless you’re going anonymous).

Fifth

Use the spreadsheet below to check out other entries, support each other, be constructive, add new writers as your Twitter/Facebook if you like their style, and again, support the prize donors.

Finally, stay busy while Lydia, the donors, and I select the winners.

When will they be announced? Great question! This is the inagural year, sooo we’ll find out.

Remember: ONE entry per person, please.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lydia Lukidis or me using the form or via Twitter.
Lydia: @LydiaLukidis
Kaitlyn: @KaitlynLeann17

Submissions (One entry per person)

Note: when you enter your “contact” info it is able to be seen in the spreadsheet below. If you do not want your email shared, please use Twitter Handle or Facebook name.

Note: if you are posting in the comments, it may take up to 24 hours to appear.

Entries

(I’ve hidden some columns, so don’t worry if they don’t show up here.)

If you’d like to be anonymous or have a question you’d like to ask, please use my Contact form.

 

 

 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for putting yourself out there. I am absolutely amazed at the wonderful response to this contest. The kidlit community never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I can’t wait to read all of your wonderful creations!

Sincerely,

Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez

Here are the images again for your viewing pleasure:

Image 1

photo of roadway surrounded by trees

Image 2

boy wearing red t shirt and blue pants

Image 3

woman holding sunflower

Image 4

children holding firecrackers outdoors

Image 5

light landscape sky sunset

Image 6

photo of children in halloween costumes smiling

Image 7

person hands squash fruit

Image 8

assorted color gummy worms

Image 9

greyscale photo of day of the dead corpse bride

Image 10

light sky space abstract
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Image 11

backlit birds branches dawn
Photo by Tejas Prajapati on Pexels.com

Image 12

photo of abandoned house
Photo by kalyan deep on Pexels.com

Image 13

red and orange autumn leaves on the ground and on trees beside body of water
Photo by Jake Colvin on Pexels.com

PS. Can’t wait to see what numbers we come up with too!

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619 thoughts on “Official Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest Submission Page 2019

  1. The chill air died against the flickering brightness the children held. Soon, they would invade the restless carcass that was my remainder. I had watched as they tore me from my mother, ripped out my guts, and carved shapes into my flesh.

    Now, they intended to burn what remained. The sparklers thrust their sharp ends into my soft interior. They placed my skullcap upon my top once more. Smoke poured from the holes they had created as the heat blackened my insides.

    “Oh my gosh,” gasped a child. “It’s gonna go up!”

    And so I did.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. Wow. I never want to carve another pumpkin. I love how you’ve turned this activity entirely around as we view it through his point of view. So creative!

      Liked by 6 people

  2. A Change of Seasons – Jennifer Matarese

    She waved her hand and a sharp cool wind blew through…
    “Look, Daddy, it’s fall now!” Autumn said.
    Daddy’s eyes widened as a wave of shock washed across his face.
    “Autumn!” Daddy said, “That’s very dangerous, you shouldn’t change the seasons!”
    They stood in the pathway of the old park, fall on one side, summer on the other.
    “Your sister Summer is still playing,” Daddy said.
    Autumn knew what she did, but she loved feeling the crisp, cool breeze and seeing the colorful leaves sprinkle down. She had longed for fall.
    But then, the leaves began to change from green to golden on Summer’s side of the street.
    “Summer, SUMMER!” Autumn yelled, “Run, quickly, I’m sorry!”
    “It’s too cold for her too quickly! She needs to be with Mother Nature when the seasons change,” Daddy said. “You’re lucky I’m Father Time.”
    With a wave of his hand the leaves all turned back to green.
    “Just wait until Mommy hears what you did to your sister,” Daddy said. “When the seasons change as they should, we’re fine, but when you tinker with them it’s nothing but trouble.”
    Autumn nodded her head, as she plodded home towards Mother Nature.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. This story reads like a modern folk tale. I love the contrast of the contemporary dialogue/feel with the magical, fantastical elements. The “leaves sprinkle down” line is beautiful and fitting with Autumn’s perspective, both as a season and a child. @AnneLipton

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The leaves fall down
    A crunchy sunset
    In orange yellow and red

    Like a warm roaring fire
    you watch
    snuggled up in bed

    Or a marshmallow
    charring
    on the end of a stick

    Falling into crisp piles
    you just have to
    kick

    Fall means it’s time
    to bundle up
    nice and warm

    To stay inside
    under a blanket
    below a thunder storm

    Fall means hay rides
    through a foggy
    pumpkin patch

    It means leaves falling
    like snowflakes
    you just have to catch

    Fall is dressing up in costumes
    and asking for candy
    door to door

    It’s picking apples
    baking pies
    and cider you just have to pour

    Fall is a feeling
    inside
    of being warm through and through

    It’s a cozy knit blanket
    wrapped tight
    around you

    The best part about the season
    is it’s easy to
    call

    You just have to wait
    for that
    first
    crisp
    colored leaf to
    fall

    Liked by 11 people

  4. Fall Fashion (196 words)
    By
    Glenda Roberson

    Down the tree-lined road I wander. I can sense the subtle change.
    Leaves decaying smell amazing. Does that make me sort of strange?

    Endless shapes of gold and orange, falling gently to the ground.
    Dancing in the morning shadows, when the wind blows them around.

    Days have shortened, sunshine slanted, and the nights have clearly cooled.
    Fickle fall you feel like summer! Winter’s coming, I’m not fooled.

    Pink and crimson clutch the twilight, lose their grip and let it go.
    Fade to black, the night has fallen. Soon the moon will join the show.

    Rising slowly, looming larger, nearly full and glowing bright.
    Tranquil lake shows moon’s reflection, like a mirror in the night.

    Quiet woods erupt in music. Crickets join the frogs in song.
    Gentle winds begin their sighing. Moon’s reflection now is gone.

    It’s replaced by spectral shimmers. Water-diamonds full of light!
    Shining like a thousand beacons, just to decorate the night.

    Dawn now frigid, frost abundant. It reminds me what’s to come.
    Snow and sleet and rain that freezes. Toes and fingers going numb.

    Bitter cold is most unwelcome! Lovely fall, please stay awhile.
    Fashion forward, vibrant colors, you display it all in style.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Wow! Glenda this is wonderful! Great rhythm and I adore this part especially, “Pink and crimson clutch the twilight, lose their grip and let it go.
      Fade to black, the night has fallen. Soon the moon will join the show.”

      Like

    2. Lovely, Glenda! Since we’re expecting snow later this week in Colorado, these stanzas resonated with me. I’m hoping our fall will stay a bit longer, too. 🙂

      “Dawn now frigid, frost abundant. It reminds me what’s to come.
      Snow and sleet and rain that freezes. Toes and fingers going numb.

      Bitter cold is most unwelcome! Lovely fall, please stay awhile.
      Fashion forward, vibrant colors, you display it all in style.”

      Liked by 1 person

    3. My mom always said winter wasn’t a fashion show, but Fall—what a performance! I love the premise of your story, and your descriptions are lovely, apt, and original.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Don’t go!” When a gust of autumn wind snatched Brother Leaf from the branch, Little Leaf shook on his stem.
    “It’s part of life. Don’t fear,” said Brother Leaf, fluttering away. “I’ll see you again.”
    By and by, Little Leaf turned crisp and vibrant red. He knew a wind was coming to take him away, but he wasn’t ready. He held on TIGHT.
    WOOSH!—came a wind.
    Snap!—went Little Leaf’s stem. He billowed out, screaming, away from the tree he knew.
    Fluttering on the wind, Little Leaf saw Tree in full splendor: He had never known Tree was so tall or wide or full. Tree brimmed with amber, yellow, and browning leaves, more than Little Leaf could count, and more beautiful than he had ever realized.
    Awestruck, Little Leaf landed on the autumn grass.
    “Little Leaf,” said Brother Leaf, brittle beside him, “I knew we’d meet again.”
    Little Leaf was overjoyed. “What now?”
    “The cycle goes on. We give. We turn into strength that Tree takes up to give life to new leaves in new seasons that come.”
    Contented now, Little Leaf rested on the grass, and—full of understanding—gazed upon Tree as he wrinkled, curled, and dried.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. Oh, so beautiful and bittersweet. This is a lovely life cycle piece that could also serve as a bit of bibliotherapy for children grieving a loss.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Howling Kitty
    Maureen Morrison
    Image 5
    96 word Rhyming PB

    Mama Mama can’t you see?
    Up there it’s perfect, that’s my tree!
    I want to climb and do it soon.
    I want to howl up at the moon.

    Howling?
    No. No. No!
    Not allowed!
    You are a cat, and cats meow.

    Who made these rules? I don’t see why,
    I can’t just howl up at the sky.

    Midnight, my friends. What will they say?
    They’ll think my daughter might be…… stray.

    When I howl mama, I feel free.
    A howling kitty, that is me.

    Follow your heart, mama cat sighed.
    And watched her daughter howl with pride.

    Liked by 12 people

  7. Photo Prompt 10
    by Phyllis Harris
    ___________

    If these walls could speak…

    A house once lived, now asleep.

    Never empty.

    Was there love here?

    Windows like eyes of the soul.

    Rooms full of laughter.

    Little footsteps.

    Keeping secrets.

    Sunlight fading.

    Walls whisper… “Remember me.”

    If these walls could speak…

    Liked by 7 people

  8. First I wriggled down a handful of worms.
    Those silly worms slithered and squirmed so I gobbled up frogs to eat the worms.

    Those feisty frogs wouldn’t stop hopping so I swallowed the fish to chase the frogs that I gobbled up to eat the worms.

    The fish splished and splashed so I munched on bears to catch the fish that chased the frogs that I gobbled up to eat the worms.

    The sleuth of bears rumbled and roared so I reached in the bag but, “oh no!” it was empty.

    There was only one thing that could stop all the rumbling…a tall glass of water.

    I drank down the water to get rid of the bears that caught the fish that chased the frogs that I gobbled up to eat the worms.

    “Phew!” Finally, my tummy feels back to normal, but that’s the last time I’ll snack on a gummy zoo.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Ha, cute! I loved the cumulative story style, one of my daughter’s faves right now is Chimpanzees for Tea. I also enjoyed the surprise ending, I was totally hoping it was gummy worms, but I was drawn in by the devouring and thought this has to be real, then surprise, it’s funny worms again! Very fun! Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Inspired by Tejas Prajapati’s Image #11 (Two Crows)
    Word count: 87

    GHOULash Delight
    By: Audrey Day-Williams

    Beware of the sky
    With the pumpkin-spice glow
    That whispers your name
    When the autumn winds blow

    Two silhouettes now
    But do worry, there’s more
    When crow follows crow
    There’s a murder in store

    Ghost wisps chill the air
    And the witches they toil
    The recently dead
    Clamber out of the soil

    Twelve strikes of the clock
    Time to cook-up our stew
    A GHOULash delight,
    All we’re missing is…YOU

    Beware of the sky
    With the pumpkin-spice glow
    That whispers your name
    When the autumn winds blow

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Wonderful rhythm, rhyme, and language! My favorite lines: “When crow follows crow/
      There’s a murder in store.” Love, love, love! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Five Little Witches
    By Kelly Swemba
    PB
    Image #5
    Word Count: 74

    Five little witches zoom through the sky.
    The first one says, “Oh my, I love to fly!”
    The second one says, “There are children everywhere.”
    The third one says, “My candy bag is bare!”
    The fourth one says, “I’ll cast a spell on you.”
    The fifth one says, “Well that won’t do.”
    Then whoosh went their wands
    And the moon glowed bright.
    And the five little witches cackled out of sight.

    Liked by 11 people

  11. Image 5

    SUN CAT, MOON CAT
    by
    Aixa Perez-Prado

    Sun cat stretches in the light, licks his whiskers, clean and bright.
    Moon cat prowling in the night, shows her claws, prepared to fight.
    Gato sol, gato luna, gato sin casa ninguna.

    Sun cat meows, sun cat purrs, sun cat shows off his fine fur
    Moon cat hides, moon cat creeps, moon cat climbs up high and leaps
    Gato sol, gato luna, gato sin casa ninguna.

    Sun cat drinks a bowl of milk, licks his paws as smooth as silk.
    Moon cat searches through the trash, looking for some meat and mash
    Gato sol, gato luna, gato sin casa ninguna.

    Sun cat moseys through the street, meowing at the people’s feet,
    Moon cat wanders through the park slipping off in to the dark.
    Gato sol, gato luna, gato sin casa ninguna.

    Sun cat on a window sill, sleeping, keeping very still
    Moon cat on a twisted tree, seeing all there is to see
    Gato sol, gato luna, gato sin casa ninguna.

    Sun cat purring, “Take me home, I don’t like to be alone.”
    Moon cat yowling, “Leave me be, I am purrfect on my own.”
    Gato sol, gato luna, gato sin casa ninguna.

    Liked by 18 people

    1. I love the differences between sun cat and moon cat–a beautiful yin and yang! And the Spanish adds a beautiful layer as well! ❤

      Like

    2. Gorgeous! The contrast of the sun/moon, light/dark, and the two very distinct cat personalities heightens the emotion, and the Spanish refrain adds rich nuance. @AnneLipton

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Entry for Dina Towbin:

    Alone in the House

    By Dina Towbin © 2019

    My grandmother sat by the fireplace alone with her thoughts. She remembered winters past when she watched the flames as they leapt up the chimney. The light in the room was a patchwork quilt. Golden orbs surrounded by dark shadows. Out of nowhere a shadow of a hand appeared on the wall—stopping her train of thought.

    She stood up slowly and walked around the room looking for the hand or whatever had created the shape. Glancing back at the fireplace, she thought she saw the shape of her tabby, Abby, in the shadows. But on closer inspection, she could see that Abby wasn’t there. There was only a long-dead log covered in spider webs.

    “Where has everyone gone?” she wondered. “Ted?” she called out her husband’s name. “Are you there?” She scanned the room. Touching her hand to her arm, she realized that she had disappeared as well.

    Liked by 12 people

  13. October Leaf
    By Pierson Pflieger
    Inspired by Image 13

    Awake,
    O sleeping

    October leaf!

    There is
    new life

    to be found.

    Your color
    &
    beauty,
    vibrant
    &
    entrancing,

    no blemish

    to confound.

    Freed from your

    binding branch,
    defiantly
    dance
    across
    the
    ground
    and give autumn one, last breath before winter snows abound.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Peter Pumpkin-Pickle by Kiley Orchard

    I am Peter Pumpkin-Pickle.
    Have you heard my story?
    No? Well, let me tell you.
    It’s not even one bit gory!

    It started in my youth.
    I wasn’t like the other gourds;
    waiting to be picked by kids
    with tiny carving swords.

    The day I saw the advert
    for the county pickle prize
    I knew just what I had to do
    (and it involved some lies…).

    I had the lumps and bumps;
    I just needed to be green
    to impersonate a pickle
    on the county pickle scene.

    I took great care to paint myself
    the perfect pickle hue
    and slimmed down so I wasn’t round
    and looked like pickles do.

    And when the contest finally came,
    that crisp first day of fall,
    I earned the first-place medal.
    I had fooled them, one and all!

    At first I felt a bit of guilt
    I’d won in a disguise.
    But then I saw my brethren
    and their creepy, hollow eyes…

    They’d been carved, and I had not—
    guts spooned out with a scoop.
    So I’ll pretend to be a pickle
    (‘til the day I turn to goop).

    Liked by 15 people

  15. The Lucky Black Cat by Denise Koprich Shirazi

    Witches, werewolf’s and goblins—oh my! Every Halloween the spookiest creatures come out to haunt and howl. But, one black cat named Ashtrix, sits alone in Hallow tree, missing the hocus-pocus of the night.

    Ashtrix tried to fit in. But, a good luck black cat isn’t scary. So, while the other cats prowl and enjoy the bewitching night, Ashtrix waits for a spooky friend.

    Ashtrix expected to spend Halloween alone again, however, something wickedly wonderful was about to happen.

    Another misfit…a witch named Sam, spent Halloweens alone too. Her broomstick had no sense of direction, her spells backfired and worst of all, she failed to find a black cat in time for the witches’ coven.

    With a dash of hope, Sam jumped on her broomstick and headed for the coven, even though she knew she would probably be cast out as usual.

    Naturally, her broomstick steered wrong. She crashed into Hallow tree shaking Ashtrix out of the tree and into her lap.

    Sam couldn’t believe it—her luck had turned! She scooped Ashtrix up and put him on her broom. “You’re who I’ve been looking for,” said Sam as she hugged Ashtrix.

    Ashtrix and Sam never spent Halloween alone again.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Samantha Gassman
    Image 5
    Word Count: 184
    Country: USA

    I’m worried my newly launched blog will somehow malfunction, so here’s my entry just in case!

    The “Mix” Up

    See, I’m a black cat. That’s a full moon.

    Cliché obliges me to choose tonight to start plotting my revenge against Molly. It’s not that she’s a bad human, you must understand.

    It’s just…

    …she gave me party mix treats instead of my favorite.

    Sure, it might not seem like a big deal to you. After all, you’ve never had chicken and waffle treats, have you?

    Didn’t think so.

    They are more delicious than slightly chilled lump crab pieces covered in herb-spiced rotisserie chicken slathered in gouda.

    Those treats are the only reason I bother getting up from my perfectly comfy spot on the sofa.

    Sure, it could have been a simple mix up. I suppose the bags do look similar. I would leave it there.

    But the thing is she also gave me…

    …skim milk. SKIM. She knows I only drink whole milk. She must think me a savage feline.

    According to the High Order of Domesticated Cats of which I am a senior member, I must retaliate. Puking in her shoes won’t be enough this time.

    No, this requires much, much more.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. what a funny feline. 🙂
      I think you did a great job with characterization.
      And the hook is there…I’m am left wondering what cat will do.
      WHAT is work than cat puke in shoes?

      Like

  17. Leah Stecher
    Image 10
    Word Count: 200
    Country: USA

    When I was fourteen, I went to live with Auntie Mae. She squeezed me when I arrived, fingers leaving ten identical bruises around my upper arms. She said I looked as “pale as a porcelain doll,” and made some tea. Her own “special brew.”

    It tasted like rot.

    I didn’t notice anything odd until I started finding myself in the chair by the fireplace several times a day. Legs bent at perfect right angles, arms heavy against the armrests, I had no memory of how I got there.

    Then the furniture began to move. One night my bed was under the window, the next night against the far wall. One morning the kitchen table was gone—I found it in the attic, sitting prettily on a carpet that had once been in the living room.

    On the thirteenth day, Auntie Mae didn’t call me down to afternoon tea.

    Fear gripped me.

    The doors, locked.

    My screams, unanswered.

    My pale fists pounded against the living room window in desperation.

    Her voice, when it arrived, was impossibly loud. “See,” Auntie Mae cooed. “My newest doll.”

    A stranger’s eye appeared in the window. It blinked, with eyelashes longer than my fingers. “She’s precious.”

    Liked by 7 people

    1. OoOo very creative! I had a thought as a kid when playing with my doll house: “are we dolls in some bigger creature’s doll house?” That’s totally what I thought of here. Very chilling and great foreshadowing. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  18. Jack Of the Lantern (For YA Audience)
    by Dave Goodale (199 words)

    This is the world that Jack roams.

    This is the lantern that lights the world that Jack roams.

    This is the turnip* that Jack carved to form the lantern
    That lights the world that Jack roams.

    This is the burning coal
    Within the lantern
    Carved from a turnip
    That lights the world that Jack roams.

    This is the Devil who gave the burning coal
    Within the lantern
    Carved from a turnip
    That lights the world that Jack roams.

    This is God who cast out the Devil
    Who gave the burning coal
    Within the lantern
    Carved from a turnip
    That lights the world that Jack roams.

    This is the place, the home of God,
    Who cast out the devil
    Who gave the burning coal
    Within the lantern
    Carved from a turnip
    That lights the world that Jack roams.

    This is the man who cannot enter the place
    The home of God
    Who cast out the devil
    Who gave the burning coal
    Within the lantern
    Carved from a turnip
    That lights the world that Jack roams.

    This man is Jack.
    Our world is the world that Jack roams.
    Forever.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This should be at the bottom to explain the asterisk:

      *People didn’t carve pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns until the tradition came to America.

      Like

    2. I like the bit of history you’ve woven in in regards to turnips and how they were carved by the Irish prior to coming to America as well as the nod to “The House that Jack Built.”

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Image 2
    Happiest by Hollie Wolverton

    Parents are silly creatures.

    See my shirt? It’s from our trip to some place called Disneyland. The happiest place on Earth, they claimed it was.

    It took forever to get there. Then we kept standing in lines, waiting and waiting…and waiting.

    I got hot. 

    I got tired. 

    I got cranky.

    “Smile with Mickey!” they said, camera at the ready.

    A giant mouse is nothing to smile about, especially when you’re hot, tired and cranky.

    But this, THIS right here, is. 

    A cool fall day. Colorful leaves in my own yard. Time to play.

    This is the happiest place on Earth.

    Liked by 7 people

  20. Inspired by Image #3

    YELLOW IS…..
    by Jyoti Rajan Gopal

    (95 words)

    Sunflower yellow
    stretches high
    a sun kissed disk
    of happiness

    Yellow is a mango…
    Juice trickling down
    Fingers, sticky sweet
    with goodness

    Turmeric yellow
    In a warm cup of milk
    Soothes and heals
    A mellow yellow

    Marigold yellow is a garland
    Musky and heady
    Flowers soft and silky
    a wreathe of love

    Delicate circles
    forged in fire
    Are golden yellow,
    clinking gently on wrists

    Mustard yellow waves in the wind
    A pungent, spicy sea
    of brazen wilderness

    Yellow pops in laddoos
    And barfis,
    dessert-laden trays tempting,
    festive and jubilant

    Vibrant
    Bold
    Zesty
    Joyous
    Is
    YELLOW

    Liked by 7 people

  21. This isn’t possible. Crumbling bricks, boarded up shacks, and dust is clinging tightly to the town. It doesn’t look like anyone’s lived here in decades, so how could it be hidden here? I look down at my phone again…yep, the geocache is about twenty feet ahead, to the right. Looking up, it looks like twenty feet ahead and to the right is a decrepit building that would blow over if I sneezed.

    After twenty deep breaths and a slow swivel to the right, I’m staring at a set of stairs leading to where the front door should be. Not a single ray of sunlight pierces inside, though there are plenty of gaps and holes visible on the outside walls. I walk slowly up the wooden steps, praying they won’t crumble under my weight. Once I reach the porch, I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding. Glancing at my phone again, it confirms that this is the correct place.

    Why am I doing this? Why is this geocache so important when there are millions out in the safe sunshine. Curiosity barely trumps fear and logic, and I take the first step across the threshold.

    Liked by 7 people

  22. The Yellow Leaf

    YA, 194 words
    Inspired by image #13

    Mandy watched from her bedroom window as a yellow leaf fell to the ground.

    Mandy felt like that yellow leaf—slowly floating to the ground just to be stepped on by someone with mud-caked

    shoes. What was once bright yellow, would soon be dirty and broken.

    Even though the leaves were falling, and the limbs would soon be bare, the tree remained strong. Just like her.

    She examined the tree. It still held up the treehouse that she and her sister Margot had saved for and bought with

    their own money.

    She missed her sister. They had been best friends and done everything together.

    Mandy tried to shake off the dark thoughts that began to take hold. She desperately wanted to see hope in front of

    her.

    But still—could she ever be the same after this? What would her friends think? Would they understand? How could

    anyone else understand when she couldn’t.

    She glanced at the clock on her bedside table.

    It was almost time. She let out a heavy sigh as the doorbell buzzed.

    She walked down the stairs, peeked out the side glass and opened the door.

    “Come in, Detective Hunter.”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I really like the sentences “Mandy felt like that yellow leaf—slowly floating to the ground just to be stepped on by someone with mud-caked shoes. What was once bright yellow, would soon be dirty and broken.”
      But what did she do to her sister????? I am worried and need to know more!!

      Like

    2. This definitely gave me the feels, it pulled me along as I desperately wanted to know what was happening, and I still do. Did she do something to her sister, is she covering for her, is she being accused of what she didn’t do? Thanks so much for sharing this dark tale and pulling me into your MC’s mind.

      Like

  23. PUMPKIN PICKING

    For a PB audience
    197 words
    Inspired by image 7

    It’s an exciting day for Emmeline,

    She’s picking a pumpkin for Halloween.

    There are hundreds to choose from, it’s so much fun.

    But Daddy has said: “you can only pick one!”

    “But Daddy,” she groaned, “how will I choose?”

    “There are too many pumpkins for me to peruse:

    There are

    Round ones,

    Squashed ones,

    Ones with little lumps,

    Speckled ones,

    Spotty ones,

    Ones with bulbous bumps.

    Some that are MASSIVE,

    And some teeny-tiny,

    Some that feel rough,

    And some sheeny-shiny,

    Some that are green,

    And some that are white,

    Some that are heavy,

    And some that are light…”

    Emmeline plucked one away from the pile.

    “THIS is the one that is making me smile!”

    “Good,” Daddy said, “Now let’s go and pay.

    And then we can scoop all its innards away!”

    Back at their house, they cut into its skin,

    They carved evil eyes and sliced out a grin,

    They filled it with candles, and sparked them alight,

    They carried it out to the dark, Autumn night.

    “Wow” Daddy said, “It looks great, Emmeline.”

    “In fact, it’s the best pumpkin I’ve ever seen!

    Those trick-or-treaters will sure get a fright,

    When they come calling on Halloween night!”

    Liked by 10 people

    1. So much fun, and you’ve captured the joy of picking a pumpkin. I loved the descriptions of all of the different types of pumpkins. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Order of the Crow
    By
    Mawiyah Kai EL-Jamah Bomani

    nine deep dark husky women
    still, travel the backwoods of Louisiana
    swamps have names and stories of retribution buried beneath moistened flesh
    if you find cause to believe nothing else I say believe that at one minute past midnight
    the order of the crow will honor crossroads tween life and death digging into earth’s black massive universal womb
    with bare hands
    chanting in the familiar tongue of their mothers
    who now soar above ground squawking
    believe if it bleeds these women done kilt it
    leaving trails of libation feeding petrified wounds
    chile my grandmamma told me on more than one occasion
    if you live long nuff you just might earn the right
    to hear bout the order of the crow how they were first conjured out of nothingness
    these women who keep vengeful spirits tucked beneath locked cast iron cauldrons buried
    nine feet into an abyss
    women who were created to pull babies from the nether reaches and into our world
    women who drag satan along with all his minions one white bastard at a time
    back to the hell from whence he sprang
    women who conjure nough hoodoo to crucify klans of ungodly white men

    women nine deep dark husky servants of Ogou

    slither with cockeyed disgust women who strut through marsh wearing nothing but
    skirts
    iron clad machete pleats clanging a rhythm
    older than the first coos out of Oduduwa’s mouth
    believe if it bleeds these women done kilt it
    look over yonder
    that’s where they chain them spirits
    to what comes after birth listen
    Yemonja ago kabasieye ago Yemonja
    ago kabasieye, Yemonja ago kabasieye
    ago Yemonja, ago kabasieye
    once upon a moon
    there was a man white as the cotton shroud he wore
    his calling card
    the stench of whiskey and polecat nectar
    swelled alongside
    the familiar sighs of azaleas and night jasmine
    them sheets of his’n why they whipped through the wind with a kinda heinous affinity for fear
    them sheets an almost leather strap
    bludgeoning blackness that on night’s like these wouldn’t budge for even the protruding
    ghost of bleakness
    a ghost riding through night air
    gliding through night air
    sailing through night air
    no woman was safe not the mothers not the daughters not the blind
    not the crippled
    not the infirmed
    nobody knew what to make of this sonofabitch besides the obvious
    he was light years past crazy

    no woman with even half a vagina would survive the wrath of this this evil man
    so evil his teeth couldn’t stand to live in the foulness that was his mouth
    so they jumped ship
    course by the time the order of the crow come to release the pressure
    from his eye sockets
    the mutiny was over his mouth was ninety nine percent naked
    except for the one bottom middle tooth
    it stayed probably because it didn’t have the nerve to leap

    terminal misfortune
    had become everything associated with this this vile creature

    this haunt D.C. Makenwood took pleasure in pillaging the soil of black women
    for everyone he’d rape he would burn his initials into their be-hinds branding them like cattle
    D period C period M period
    and when he was done cooking their meaty backsides
    and when he was done with the business of deflowering
    he’d slice (with his teeth) a sliver of soft pink flesh
    stolen from the insides of their butterfly wings and he’d chew
    chew like an animal going through its final season of rabies the season before death
    the season of fluid madness
    remember me telling you how his teeth left him high and dry
    well he’d come to resolve that problem too
    when he had no teeth to slice with he turned to a paring knife
    for this vile man
    mutilation became artistry
    and every opened labia became a canvas where torture and depravity
    would no doubt
    conjure the order from their sleep
    one
    two
    three
    four
    five
    six
    seven
    eight
    nine
    hollowed whispers of earth
    nine crows circled overhead and the stronger the cries of the young woman who fought D. C. Makenwood grew
    the faster these crows swooped tearing the earth away
    the more voracious were their chants
    Ogou rele, neg panama eh!
    Ogou rele, neg panama eh!
    Ogou rele, si neg la frape mate,
    ou pap konnen sam peze!
    and when the last of them was resurrected
    the crows found nine shoulders to perch upon
    whispering into the ears of the order
    he likes them pregnant, pregnant women hold rivers of sugar between their thighs
    he baptizes himself in their rivers but his sins are not washed
    he is the unclean bearer of poisonous venom
    we must right his wrong
    tonight we feed Ogou
    there was a rumble of deafening thunder
    night creatures seduced by howling winds chanted the secret names of each crow woman
    then the trees bowed as the moss stretched out her feeble arms to cover the faces of the nine
    the living must not see
    it is taboo the living must not witness this ebo
    must not witness the offspring of caos conceived in their eyes
    the crows whisper
    when saving the mother
    makenwood must be the only casualty
    as the nine trudged toward’s what Makenwood called his honey shack
    a great rain fell upon the swamp
    the order tightened their ranks and gripped their machetes closer to their bosoms
    Atibon Legba open the gate for me!
    Open the gate for me, Papa, so that I can pass,
    Atibon Legba
    when I return, I will thank the lwa.
    with bare breasts and clenched teeth
    they surrounded the hunched hut weakened by disease
    an infestation of dementia had settled into the wood
    whatever this place use to be was long since forgotten and there was no happy here
    no sunshine no one in their right mind ventured this far into melancholy except the moon
    and this this vile man chasing rivers of honey
    Ogoun bebe o fawo!
    Ogoun bebe o fawo!
    Sa ki fe mwen byen, bay yo lavi pou mwen!
    Sa ki fe mwen mal, lese sang yo koule!
    Ogoun bebe o fawo!
    Those who do me good, give them life for me!
    Those who do me bad, let their blood run down!
    the wind’s laughter sliced the door from its hinges
    and the nine entered one deep dark husky woman at a time
    Makenwood his pants slouched at his ankles
    his penis dripping from pre-ejaculate
    turned peering over his shoulder
    What nigger fucker done followed me
    Who you old bitches think you are
    and before he could stand to situate his torso
    the wind invited herself in
    Turn child said the wind look away ogou is here and he is hungry for blood
    They are the order of the crow and they have work to do
    Turn chile look away now you are safe
    and with that the wind excused herself from the premises dragging along with her the ill-mannered spirit of sound
    no one heard Makenwood’s cries only the hoot of an owl and the crows circling their daughters
    with satisfied squawks of contentment filled the swamp air
    and with that nine machetes were fed and when the mouths of each machete drooled over in blood
    the wind sashayed a cool breeze of restitution from her lips
    the nine called out to the young mother trembling in the corner DIDE!
    and as she stood they pointed to the head of Makenwood
    a head relieved of flesh the room now soaked in Makenwood’s blood
    the walls plastered from ceiling to floor in his flesh
    one of the nine picked up his eyes strewn in a corner of the hut and they handed them to the mother
    who squeezed them in the palm of her hands until they oozed a stream of liquefied hate slipping through the porous cracks of her fist to some unattended afterlife
    beneath the floorboards
    she picked up the head and followed the nine

    when they came to the resting place the mother bent over in pain fell at the feet of the order
    who reached inside the young mother’s womb and delivered the child unto her
    then they took the placenta and the umbilical cord and wrapped it around the skull of Makenwood
    then they pounded their fists upon the earth until the earth spread her legs and in they hurled the demon and his master
    chained together for an eternity
    chile my grandmamma whispered there is never no parting of the two
    the spirit of Makenwood will serve that child from new moon to new moon until the end of never
    the family will pass the demon down and he will become an heirloom of sorts
    how the slaver becomes the slave
    it is what happens in the swamp when babies are born
    in the backwoods of Louisiana
    and crows circle overhead watching waiting for the rounded out belly of a coquettish moon waiting for the order of the crow to rise again

    Ogou
    Those who do me good, give them life for me!
    Ogou
    Those who do me bad, let their blood run
    Run
    Run

    Like

      1. .Same image but new writing. I was too long-winded on the other one.

        cleansing

        tonight, I disregard ambition
        walk one extra mile whisking dust tracks
        to the edge of town
        blood stains my hands and strangles my heart
        why woman
        why woman
        tonight I am a man leaving earthquakes
        as I chase a hungry moon’s trickery
        in the shotgun one bed
        are the remains of a discarded paper mache figurine woman in a nylon dress
        two-headed butterflies sewed to imperfection
        mating across her chest
        at a quarter past midnight
        I borrowed the neighbor’s shovel
        dug a hole six feet past china
        diligent handyman retrieving long jones
        and a lonesome woman’s psalm
        with these muddy hands
        I skived life from a gorgeous woman
        a woman I thought I loved with the violent thrusting of twin hearts
        she is dead now
        a dead angelic comely black witch
        seek her out for yourself
        no woman gon hoodoo me and live to spill my tale
        a witches spell broken
        seven years of bad luck hot on my trail
        a mirror used to prune her throat from ear to ear seeks retribution
        I am aware my days are numbered
        as heaven opens
        it’s one good eye to my sin
        I walk destined to out smile the moon

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Some of my favorite lines from your shorter piece–you have some powerful language and imagery: “blood stains my hands and strangles my heart,” “tonight I am a man leaving earthquakes,” and
      “I borrowed the neighbor’s shovel/ dug a hole six feet past china”

      Like

  25. MOON by Stacy Burch
    wc 164
    Image 5

    She hadn’t meant to break the moon.

    She’d only placed her thumb in front of the bright bulb and closed one eye to block it out, just as her father had done long ago.

    Then – POP! – it burst like juicy candy, staining her hands with its oozing orange glow.

    The night went black. A meow echoed in the distance.
    And a cackle rang out in the stillness.

    “Foolish child. What have you done?” came a voice from the dark.

    “I didn’t mean to do it!” she cried. “But…I can fix it!”

    And just as her father had done long ago, she shaped the orange light of words that scorched her tongue. The burnt bubble floated up and out, hanging once again beyond the branches.

    “I returned the moon!” she said. “Except for the cat trapped inside.”

    “That was no cat,” the voice whispered, retreating into the shadows. “That was no moon.”

    The sudden light slapped her face. Too bright, too harsh.

    Full and empty.

    Liked by 5 people

  26. Tracey Cash
    Image 5
    Word Count – 199
    PB
    USA

    “Cat’oween”

    There is a magical night
    Just before Halloween
    When eyes glow in the shadows
    That by most go unseen

    As the sun slides from the sky
    And the night dons its dark cape
    If you pay close attention
    You might recognize a shape

    Is that a fluffy tail
    Maybe a pointed ear
    And then right before your eyes
    The creatures begin to appear

    At first, they are mostly watchful
    As they sit upon their thrones
    Surveying the scene around them
    That the moonlight allows to be shown

    The Balinese, the Bengal, the Maine Coon, and Burmese
    They’ve all show up for the bash
    The Ragdoll, Bobtail, Persian, and Siamese
    Are here to ensure it’s a smash

    Long hair, short hair, and some that have no hair
    Are all represented and proud
    They have come to play and for the night stay
    To be silly, frisky and loud

    Headbutts and cuddles and so many snuggles
    Are now sleeping piles of fur
    Purring and licking and whiskers tickling
    As they rest without even a stir

    The sun peeks out shyly to welcome the day
    And the rooster struts and crows
    Cats say farewell to the Cat’oween celebration
    As felines everywhere doze

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Anonymous entry:

    RAKE AND BAKE
    194 words
    Image #2

    On this chilly day, Danny wanted nothing more than to bake his world famous apple cider doughnuts.

    “No baking until the leaves are raked.”

    “But I need to make more doughnuts! There’s only one left.”

    “Rake, then bake! Take Gizzy out while you’re at it.”

    On this chilly day, Danny wanted to do anything other than yard work. So, on this chilly day, Danny became an announcer.

    “Attention: Kids of Windsong Drive! Join me for the first annual RAKE AND BAKE!”

    “Arf arf!”

    “Each one of you will take a section of yard. Whoever rakes their leaves into one pile the fastest wins…drum roll… my LAST world famous apple cider donut!”

    “Yum!”

    “I call the middle!”

    “No, I want the middle!”

    “On your mark, get set, RAKE AND BAKE!”

    One kid raked slow and steady.

    Another sabotaged his opponent’s pile.

    A third made snow angels in the leaves.

    “A race for the taste, folks! My doughnut isn’t getting any warmer!”

    “Arf arf arf!”

    “Done!”

    “No fair! I didn’t know we had to say ‘done’!”

    “Done – sort of.”

    “The RAKE AND BAKE winner, who finished at an inhuman speed, was… Gizzy! Good boy, let’s bake.”

    Liked by 5 people

  28. Patrick Hopkins
    Image 7
    198
    PB
    USA

    I’m pregnant.

    With a concept for a jack-o-lantern.

    I can’t see your face, but you can’t be trying to hide your disappointment with more medium dick energy than my stepfather.

    He wants grandchildren.

    He wants to “experience” the pregnancies he missed because he met Mom when I was six and Taylor was three.

    He wants to fawn over us as we “glow” — a man-appeasing term for bangs-to-toenails rage at a parasite that pesters you all day because you committed the grievous error of allowing a tablespoon of biological material to enter your vagina before your cervix rightly slammed the door.

    Fuck what he wants. He’s getting a hollow-toothed pumpkin with eyes of fire, a question mark of a nose and a (faaake) bloody knife for a stem.

    But that’s not the fun part.

    I’m giving it a custom heat sensor. Trick-or-treaters will watch it turn as they walk past it, and they will freak. the. fuck. out.

    I’m also having a Halloween onesie delivered. When he sees the package and his face lights up, I’ll tell him it’s for my jack-o-lantern. Maybe that’ll deliver the clue my tubal ligation couldn’t get through the door to his thick skull.

    Like

  29. Herbert and Lura
    (196 words, Image #11)

    “Caaaaaaaaaa….. Caaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

    “Herbert what are you doing?” asked Lura.

    “Singing,” Herbert said. “CaaaAAaaaaa….”

    “Stop that!” said Lura. “We’re crows! We caw-caw-caw. Short loud CAW-CAW-CAW!”

    “Caa-AAA-aaaa”, sang Herbert. “No, I want to be an opera singer.”

    Lura moved over on their limb. She rolled her eyes. She put her head under her wing.

    “CAW-Caaa-Caaaaaa!”

    “NO HERBERT! We don’t sing opera!”

    Herbert hung his head. He had wanted to be an opera singer since he was a little chick.

    Opera made him feel so many emotions. The swell of longing, the heartache, and the touch of love that conquers all.

    Herbert just knew opera was the way to Lura’s heart.
    “Caaa-AAA-Awww.”

    As he sang, Herbert thought of Lura’s sleek black feathers. Her light-colored bill. He must sing a love song as beautiful her!

    “Caa-AA-aaa-AWWW.”

    The next day Lura flew in and landed on their favorite branch. Herbert stood up straight and opened his beak.

    “CAW CAW CAW!”

    “Herbert, that was beautiful!” Lura said.

    Herbert squooshed closer to Lura.

    “Do you want me to sing it again?” he asked.

    “I do Herbert.”

    “CAW CAW CAW!”

    Herbert knew it wasn’t opera. But it was love, and that was close enough.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This is a touching and imaginative story, and managing to write a character arc in such a short amount of space is impressive. Herbert may be the opera singer but Lura is quite the diva! I hope she appreciates what he’s sacrificed for her.

      Like

  30. MOON RISING
    Photo # 5 – 173 words

    Shadows play
    across the floor,
    as the breeze
    dances with trees
    under
    the rising moon.

    Ears twitch
    Listening
    to footsteps
    beyond the great door,
    Waiting,
    for the right moment.

    The key turns
    and the hinges screech
    like a night owl
    in flight.
    The moment is now!
    GO!

    Fur twists between ankles.
    Someone screams
    as a darting tail
    slips through cold fingers.
    Freedom!
    A shooting star
    streaks across the sky –
    Then, it’s gone.

    Eyes glow
    like two half moons
    through tall grass and weeds,
    Crouching low,
    Watching
    fireflies
    in treetops.

    Claws grip
    a rugged trunk
    Pulling,
    Stretching,
    Climbing,
    to that first branch
    swaying in the breeze.
    So different
    than shadows
    playing on the floor.

    Higher and higher,
    Leaping
    from limb to limb
    through falling leaves
    and scolding birds,
    to treetops
    undiscovered.

    Fireflies dim
    as a tail swishes
    nearby.
    No hidden treasure,
    or tasty treats.
    Just a large moon
    Rising.

    Home waits,
    So far below –

    Where shadows play
    Across the floor
    and the breeze
    dances with trees,
    against
    a wanderer’s silhouette
    and the rising moon.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Season Shift
    By: Melissa Flinn
    Word count: 105

    Summertime is quickly coming to an end.
    But fall is nearing, so fear not my friend.
    The leaves turning orange from their beautiful green,
    In the light of day is a sight to be seen.
    Summer leaves cling to their branches so tight,
    While fall leaves wait for their turn to take flight.
    They fly to the path where feet walk around,
    Signaling fall with their rustling sound.
    Passerby’s gawk at the scene up above
    As the leaf canopy shows a sign of God’s love.
    The great line of trees is a sight to behold
    With the summer trees change for the fall to unfold.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! The leaves in my neighborhood are changing and falling now, and that rustling/crunching sound when walking through them is one of my favorite things. 🙂

      Like

  32. HALLOWEEN NIGHT FRIGHT 147 words
    by Dianne Moritz

    I look in the mirror and what do I see?
    A cute gorilla staring at me.
    I run out the door and what do I see?
    A wicked witch glaring at me.
    I skip down the walk and what do I see?
    A skeleton skipping with me.
    I trip through the leaves and what do I see?
    A silly clown tripping with me.
    I stop at the curb and what do I see?
    A hairy monster stopping with me.
    So I hop around and what do I see?
    A hairy monster hopping with me.
    I hop. It hops.
    I stop. It stops.
    Yikes! I race away and what do I see?
    A hairy monster racing with me.
    Now, I’m back at home and what do I see?
    No hairy monster! There’s no one with me!
    It was only my shadow following me!
    HA, HA, BOO!
    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    Liked by 7 people

  33. The Queen of Halloween
    By Anne Lipton (@AnneLipton)

    A witch gazed in her magic mirror and asked, “Who’s the Queen of Halloween?”
    The mirror reflected the witch in her black dress and-her black cat, Boo, in a sparkly collar.
    “Whoo-hoo!” said the witch. “I’ll be the Queen of the Halloween Ball this year.”

    The witch asked her smartphone “Who’s the Queen of Halloween?”
    “Cat’s got my tongue,” said the phone.
    The witch glared at her screen. “You know, phone, sometimes you’re too smart for your own good. What CAN you tell me about the Queen of Halloween?”
    “Beautiful jewels encircle her neck.”
    “Whoo-hoo!” said the witch. “Soon I’ll wear a fabulous necklace along with my crown.”

    The witch flew to the Halloween Ball with Boo clinging to the broomstick by her claws.
    A vampire rose to the ballroom stage, announcing: “This year’s queen dresses all in black.”
    “Whoo-hoo!” The witch raced her broom around the chandelier. “I knew I’d be crowned queen.”
    “This year’s queen,” continued the vampire, “is a cat you all know . . . Boo!”
    “Who?” cried the witch, veering into a tailspin.
    “Me-ow,” said Boo, putting out a royal paw to save the witch from falling off her broom and to her Halloween doom.

    Liked by 5 people

  34. Lu Pierro ( my poem is having a hard time posting. I am going to try here. I would like a pb critique if it is chosen. ty!
    HALLOWEEN TONIGHT

    Mystic yellow moonlight
    floods the frosted sky,
    and silhouettes the witches
    that come riding by.

    Teeny tiny ghosties
    in Halloween array
    go shrieking door to door
    searching out their prey.

    Masked, marauding ghoulies
    enough to cause you fright,
    Yell, “trick or treat” to neighbors
    for it’s Halloween tonight!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. This tightly-written poem captures the essence of Halloween while packing a big punch in terms of imagery and description. I especially like “[m]ystic yellow moonlight” and “the frosted sky.”

      Like

  35. Autumn is the perfect time to run away.

    Autumn Secrets (Young adult based on picture 13 the leaves and the bench)

    Autumn was a perfect time to run away. The red-gold blanket of leaves would hide my footprints. No traces.

    My school bag felt heavy but it seemed wrong to leave it.

    With dozens of emails, thousands of messages and one whispered phone call, our plan had been set. Blade and I were soul mates, and we would run away together, even though we had never met.

    True love.

    The full moon was rising, early but beautiful. The air was bitingly cold.

    From my perch on the ancient bench I could see a figure.

    Blade.

    My pulse quickened. I nibbled my cherry cola flavoured lips in anticipation.

    He was breathtakingly handsome.

    I stood up and began to wave.

    My love.

    But…

    Something was wrong.

    He was limping. Struggling with something from the inside out.

    Writhing.

    A cold horror gripped me. I couldn’t breathe.

    His eyes were wide with fear.

    Desperation.

    He started to run on all fours.

    Transforming.

    Hair and skin became fur.

    My internet hero with death in his eyes.

    Desperate to stay a boy.

    The wolf inside winning, he howled.

    I stumbled, leaving my bag. A trace.

    Autumn … So many leaves.

    No footprints.

    ‘RUN!’ Blade gasped.

    Liked by 7 people

  36. Prompt #10- (122 words)

    Doorway Silhouettes

    On this night she holds her breath.
    Maybe this year they’d skip this
    empty echo of a home.

    Voices. Laughter. Steps.
    Closer, closer….

    clank,
    clank,
    clank

    Brass knocker reverberating through rooms.

    Children replaced by goblins, ghouls, ghosts—
    hungry,
    insistent.

    Once they were simply birthday guests.
    Pillow fighters.
    Playdates.

    clank,
    clank,
    CLANK!

    It hurts to look at them.
    Growth spurts.
    Gapped teeth.

    Clank,
    CLANK,
    CLANK!

    She still feels him—a haunting of his hand in hers.
    “Just a minute!” she’d yell when he called for her.
    Time squandered.

    She seeks comfort in the shadows.
    In the doorway— silhouettes of what might have been.

    CLANK,
    CLANK,
    CLANK!

    Hungry beasts must be fed.

    But not by her.

    “GO AWAY!”

    SLAM.
    Lock.

    Only memories are served here.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Wow. Nice, Sara! This is both creepy and poignant. You never really think about why the creepy old lady in the “haunted” house in children’s stories is so grouchy and aloof. But this is a perfect explanation.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. This is so beautiful! As many others have already said, it’s both creepy and emotional–it brought tears to my eyes.

      Like

  37. PUMPKIN
    185 words/Image #5
    (I accidentally left the page before the posting was complete. Hope this isn’t a duplicate!)

    Pumpkin belonged to no one and everyone on Maple Street. He ate breakfast at Mrs. Franklin’s, dinner at the Johnsons’, and at night he liked to climb the big old tree at the corner of the block. He especially liked to do this when the moon was full. The bright moon rising behind him would make him look black instead of orange, his true color. He always wanted to be a black cat, and whenever he’d hear passersby say, “Look at that black cat up in the tree!” Pumpkin would smile.

    One sunny afternoon in autumn he found a great big pumpkin on Mrs. Franklin’s stoop. He rubbed against it, then sat down beside it. A little girl walking with her mother pointed to him and said, “Look! That pretty cat is orange just like the pumpkin!” That made Pumpkin feel good, and he stayed there until dinnertime. Then he rose, stretched proudly, and walked next door to the Johnsons’ backyard to eat the food left out for him. When he was all done, he took very special care to clean his pretty orange fur.

    Liked by 5 people

  38. Post for Susan Summers

    It is a nod to Frankenstein’s monster. 100 words. For picture 10. YA.

    A Broken Mirror

    By Susan Summers

    A broken mirror hides the stitches.

    It releases me from the onslaught of pain.

    Who am I now?

    One part Charles, one part Eliza, another part Martin, and many, many others.

    The voices and memories of people I don’t know call to me.

    How do I answer?

    The world beckons, but never welcomes me.

    I run, I hide.

    Always rejected, never loved.

    I fear the storm, the burst of electricity.

    It made me, yet I hate it.

    I am not a monster!

    My heart cries out in despair.

    Doctor, what did you do to me?

    Liked by 7 people

  39. Image #2, 115 words

    ORANGE, GREEN, YELLOW AND RED
    By Penny McNally

    Crunch, bunch, laugh and fall
    Orange, green, yellow and red
    One, two, three,
    Throw as high as I can,
    Against a blue October sky
    Colors rain down on me
    Again, again!
    In my hair, on my clothes
    Mickey and I don’t care
    You rake and clear
    Orange, green, yellow and red
    I can help too
    One, two, three,
    Throw as high as I can
    Against a blue October sky
    Fewer and fewer around me now,
    Your pile is so high
    One, two, three
    Run
    Jump!
    Me and Mickey lie on a mountain of orange, green, yellow and red
    And watch the colors rain down
    Orange, green, yellow and red

    Liked by 5 people

  40. Jack ‘o Lantern

    It’s true, a chill is in the air,
    And ghouls and ghosts are everywhere.

    But I am here to keep them back,
    To keep you safe, if they attack.

    So don’t be scared, just hold on tight,
    I’ll hold them all away tonight.

    You do not need to run and hide,
    Just listen to my simple guide:

    First, take your tools and carve a face
    (Make sure you have a plan in place),

    And scoop all of my insides out,
    I’ll keep my smile, I will not shout.

    Next, put my stringy flesh aside,
    And with it, make a tasty pie.

    Then use my stalk to make a handle,
    Open up, pop in a candle.

    And watch my shadows dart and dance,
    Please do it now, don’t take a chance.

    Then last of all, outside your door,
    Place me gently on the floor.

    Then run off to your cosy bed
    And hop right in and rest your head.

    ‘Cause while I may look really mean,
    I’ll keep you safe this Hallowe’en.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Such a clever premise and great story concept, especially for kids who are scared of the dark or what might be lurking there. @AnneLipton

      Like

  41. Touched by Autumn’s Magic

    An autumn breeze zips by
    Inviting leaves to dance
    Tempting them to abandon the comfort of their branches

    Weeping willows
    Kiss the ground with their drooping boughs
    Shedding silent tears of yesterdays

    Pine evergreens
    Deposit their cones of sturdy, brown petals
    Providing pleasure for squirrels at play

    Mighty oaks
    Swing their multicolored, outstretched palms
    Waving wondrously like United Nations’ flags

    Twilight awaits the moon
    Who appears, smiling a crescent grin
    Signaling nightfall is soon to arrive

    The whirling wind’s voice turns to a whisper
    Now, even the trees may sleep
    As we hope another day’s dreams will thrive

    Liked by 6 people

    1. So beautiful. I love that you visit trees that I don’t always think of when I think of autumn. My favorite lines: “Weeping willows
      Kiss the ground with their drooping boughs
      Shedding silent tears of yesterdays”

      Like

  42. The Changing Season
    PB | 199 words | Picture 1

    Long before Acer’s grandpa Magnolio had been a seed, a quarrel divided the maples. Friendships spanning the wooded road were forbidden ever since.

    Acer couldn’t understand why.

    The green trees seemed friendly enough. Their whispers in the wind were gentle and their branches billowed in familiar ways. If they were so similar, and so near, why couldn’t they be friends?

    Acer dropped a single red flame of hope onto the wide, empty road. The leaf glimmered, alone.

    Grandpa Magnolio rustled a melancholy sigh.

    “Trees rarely change as swiftly as seasons, Acer.”

    But an emerald friendship offering took to the wind in return. It hesitated in pocket of warm air for a moment, then nestled next to the Acer’s red leaf. Two glistening gems smiled up at the trees from the center of the road, their complementary hues gleaming in the autumn sun.

    A laugh bubbled up from the green side of the road.

    Soon, leaves of all hues floated freely from both sides of the path, dotting the sky and blanketing the soil in dashes of radiant color.

    “Trees can change swiftly in autumn,” Acer murmured.

    Grandpa Magnolio quietly agreed. Together, he and Acer lent leaves to the breeze.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. What gorgeous language and imagery. So lovely. My favorite passage: “But an emerald friendship offering took to the wind in return. It hesitated in pocket of warm air for a moment, then nestled next to the Acer’s red leaf. Two glistening gems smiled up at the trees from the center of the road, their complementary hues gleaming in the autumn sun.”

      Like

    2. Devin, you captured my attention quickly with “a quarrel divided the maples.” And I enjoyed hearing your MC’s reasoning, then “a red flame of hope,”— so great! And “trees can change swiftly in autumn”— ha, very nice. Thanks so much for sharing this story with us!

      Like

  43. CAT THINGS TO DO ON HALLOWEEN

    Climb a tree that reaches for
    the murky golden moon
    Furball curl and swish your tail
    and wait for someone scream

    Slink through shadows, slip through doors
    and try to trip them up
    Screech and spit, and scratch their face
    when your tail is stepped on

    Watch through narrowed eyes when
    pumpkin trails are swept out
    Paw the carved up pumpkin and
    pose for a spooky picture

    Liked by 3 people

  44. Entry for Kirsty Rorke

    Picture 5
    Owl cat

    Me-Owl sat on a branch and regarded the moon.
    He enjoyed being an owl.
    He had a talent for seeing in the dark,
    catching mice,
    perching in trees,
    and flying.
    Especially down.
    He was excellent at flying down.
    An owl landed silently beside him.
    Me-Owl hooted in greeting, “Me-owl,” he said.
    “HOOO,” cried the owl in alarm, and flew away.
    Me-Owl sighed.
    His hooted hello tended to have that effect on other birds.
    A shape slinked towards him in the darkness.
    “Me-owl,” the slinky shape said.
    Me-owl was thrilled.
    At last another owl that sounded just like him.
    “You’re an owl? Me-owl too!”
    “I not an owl,” Slinky said.
    “Can you see in the dark?” Me-Owl asked.
    “Of course.”
    “Can you perch in a tree?”
    “I usually call it sitting.”
    “Can you fly?”
    “Certainly not.”
    “It’s like this,” Me-Owl leapt from the tree.
    “You mean jumping? That’s easy.” Slinky landed nimbly nearby.
    “Yep you’re definitely an owl,” Me-Owl purred.
    “I’m a cat.”
    “You’re an owl.”
    “Cat.”
    “Owl.”
    “Cat.”
    “Speak then,” said Me-Owl.
    “ME-OWL!” said Slinky crossly.
    “You see?” said Me-Owl. “I knew you were.”

    Liked by 8 people

  45. Picture #2/141 words/PB

    It’s Fall! by Elizabeth Bogart

    It’s Fall, it’s Fall! Hooray, hooray!
    I’m going out in the leaves to play!
    My Dad made a huge pile just yesterday.
    I jump, I stomp and I throw all the leaves.
    I love watching them fly around in the breeze.
    I see my Mom watching from the kitchen window.
    I’m sure she’s enjoying my magical leaf show.
    I roll and roll and roll down the hill.
    I never knew leaves could give such a thrill!
    As my Dad pulls up, I jump up in the air!
    He sees all the leaves and gives me a stare.
    I realize I’ve messed up the work he had done.
    But how could I resist? It’s just too much fun.
    He gives me a smile and my hair a quick shake.
    Then says, “I’m glad you had fun,” as he hands me a rake.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m glad your main character was able to enjoy the leaves (even though it means they have to clean up the mess they made). 😉

      Like

  46. A Broken Mirror
    By Susan Summers
    YA
    WC: 100
    Picture #10

    A broken mirror hides the stitches.
    It releases me from the onslaught of pain.
    Who am I now?
    One part Charles, one part Eliza, another part Martin, and many, many others.
    The voices and memories of people I don’t know call to me.
    How do I answer?
    The world beckons, but never welcomes me.
    I run, I hide.
    Always rejected, never loved.
    I fear the storm, the burst of electricity.
    It made me, yet I hate it.
    I am not a monster!
    My heart cries out in despair.
    Doctor, what did you do to me?

    Liked by 4 people

  47. SHADOW FAIRIES
    By Maggie Brown
    155 Words / Image 10

    Beware the shadow fairies!

    The creeping, fluttering, mischief-spreading shadow fairies.

    Lurking in the dark, the corners, the basements.

    Peeking through the cracks; watching, waiting.

    The shadow fairies come out when the sun hides and the shadows crawl in.

    They thrive on your nerves, your sleeplessness, your fear!

    If you tiptoe around in the dark of night and feel a flutter on your cheek, or in your hair—BEWARE!

    For a shadow fairy’s kiss means you are in for a most unwelcome surprise.

    It could be a bit of mischief, something lost, something found.

    But tomorrow you will see, an uninvited disturbance is coming for you.

    Sometimes you won’t even know they’ve touched you, and sometimes you will. You’ll think: This isn’t me! Why am I saying strange things? Tripping over my feet? Giving all the wrong answers?

    And the shadow fairies will watch from the eerie, shadowy sidelines…giggling, and waiting…

    …for their next opportunity.

    Tonight.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Maggie, this piece was very alluring, your descriptions pulled me in and kept me wanting to know more. “Lurking…peeking” drew me in and old-timey phrases like “beware the” and “most unwelcome” gave it a sort of reverence for me. Thanks for sharing with us!

      Like

  48. *I tried to submit, but it prompted me to reset my password and I never had any type of confirmation that the post went through. I’m submitting it again, just in case. I apologize for the confusion!

    Name: Laurie Carmody
    Twitter Handle: @LaurieECarmody
    Image: #11
    Word Count: 199
    Age Level of Prize (Preferred): PB
    Country: USA

    THE COLOR OF PITCH
    By Laurie Carmody

    Britney ran her hands through a cobalt blue puddle at the end of the driveway. Each splash of water became a dove that flew toward a small gray house down the street.

    It wasn’t a particularly looming type of house, so she walked toward it, curious about the doves. She could see several of the birds perched together on the roof, waiting to fly down the chimney.

    One of the doves cooed as it flew overhead and smoke rained down, smothering her face and making her cough. She covered her eyes with her sleeve. It was pink with lace trim like a nightgown she used to wear to bed. When she looked back at the house it had changed into a towering structure of turrets covered in gargoyles the color of pitch.

    She didn’t want to go closer, but the gargoyles were waiting, their wings undulating as they touched the clouds, heavy with rain.

    With each step the gargoyle’s wings stretched farther, their necks craning to expose eyes glowing like small red coals. They pushed off the crumbling roof with muscular forearms and shrieked, swooping down.

    Wake up, she thought. But the wings enveloped her anyway. They always did.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. This story reminds me of a surrealist painting with its gorgeous dream-like imagery, and the ending is haunting. Beautifully done. @Anne Lipton

      Like

    2. So interesting! I love the title, the concept of gargoyles, and wow, the ending lines! “Wake up, she thought. But the wings enveloped her anyway. They always did.”

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Wow, that was very intriguing and intense. The beginning was so different, I had to keep reading to figure out what was happening, then I felt satisfaction when you subtly revealed using imagery of the night gown that she night be sleeping, the the ending was so powerful. Thanks so much for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  49. THE LOST LITTLE MAPLE LEAF
    By: Jocelyn Watkinson

    Word Count: 193
    Picture Book
    Age: 3-8
    Image # 13
    *Indicates Illustration Note

    Twirling, swirling, autumn breeze,
    Maple Leaf falls from the trees.
    Lost and looking for a home,
    Maple Leaf begins to roam.

    Floating by the tall, green spruce,
    Leaf snags* onto friendly Moose.
    Moose explains he’s on a quest.
    Won’t rest ‘til he’s a southern guest.
    Despite the cold, Leaf hangs on tight,
    While Moose treks through each cold, dark night.

    Cold and quivering, Leaf is shivering
    Moose arrives and is delivering
    Leaf to its new destination;
    The capital of one big nation.

    “Time for rest now,” Moose implies
    Sets down Leaf and shuts her eyes.
    Snuggled in a cozy sweater*,
    Maple Leaf feels so much better.
    They’ve been hiking for so long
    To find a home where they belong.

    Awakened by a cheerful Member
    Of Parliament in late September.
    “I’ve found it! Yes! This is the vision.
    We all must make a big decision.”

    Brought to the building on the hill,
    Maple Leaf lays very still.
    People staring, smiles seem caring,
    “Looks like they love the shirt I’m wearing!”

    “All in favour?” “Aye!” “Aye!” “Aye!”
    Maple Leaf is hoisted high*.
    Moose smiling wide with much relief
    He found a home for Maple Leaf.

    *Snags: Leaf caught in Moose antlers
    *Sweater: Sweater is coloured like the Canadian Flag (sleeves are red and torso is white)
    *High: Up a flag pole

    Back Matter:

    This story is intended to provide a cute and fun interpretation of how the Canadian flag got its’ maple leaf. In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson formed a committee to resolve the ongoing issue of the lack of an official Canadian flag, sparking a serious debate about a flag change to replace the Union Flag. There were three choices provided:
    – A Red Ensign with the fleur-de-lis and the Union Jack
    – A design that included three red maple leaves
    – A red flag with a single, stylized red maple leaf on a white square.

    Ultimately, the red flag with a single red maple leaf was chosen. The flag made its first official appearance on February 15, 1965; the date is now celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Your rhythm and rhyme is spot on and I really love that this ties in to the Canadian flag AND that you’ve given us back matter that goes along with it. I’m a big fan of back matter. 🙂

      Like

  50. FRIENDS ‘TIL THE END
    By Rebecca Gardyn Levington
    155 words

    Day after day, I sat in the pumpkin patch…

    waiting.

    Kids picked me up, then put me down:

    “Too flat in the front!”

    “Too bruised in the back!”

    “Too stumpy and…eww, too bumpy!”

    No one saw anything good in me.

    No one saw my potential.

    Until,

    you.

    At first you ran right past me —

    your long brown hair, flying behind you as you laughed.

    But then,

    You saw me.

    Really SAW me.

    You looked beyond my flattened front and my bruised backside,

    beyond my bumpiness and stumpiness, and you pointed at me, yelling:

    “That’s the ONE!”

    Holding out your soft small hands, you hugged me tight and stroked my stem.

    You called me your “perfect pumpkin.”

    You placed me on the front stoop, next to the mums, and said:

    “Welcome home!”

    I couldn’t believe it.

    I finally had a home

    and a friend.

    I’d never felt so happy.

    And that’s when…

    you brought out the knife.

    Liked by 9 people

  51. Song of the Seasons 54 words image #13
    By Mona Pease

    Autumn leaves float down.
    Strong limbs rise up toward the sky.
    Pond reflects the scene.

    Winter settles in.
    Fish retreat beneath the ice.
    Skaters glide above.

    Springtime sings new life.
    Mothers bring their young to drink.
    Birds keep newborns warm.

    Summer trees lend shade.
    Skaters lean and soak their feet.
    Fish try nibbling toes.

    Liked by 5 people

  52. Autumn Harvest

    Word Count: 191
    Image #3
    Gretchen Pitluk

    Cora’s fuzzy feet landed on a leaf blanketed in frost. Winter was creeping up on Autumn.

    Her hive would be hibernating soon. The sunflower crops had dwindled and the honey supply was low.

    If she couldn’t find more flowers, they would not see another Summer.

    A fragrant breeze danced through her antennas. Sunflowers. Cora buzzed with anticipation as she glided Northwest.

    Golden petals bobbed up and down. It was the largest sunflower she had ever seen!

    Touching down on the surface, she attempted to gather pollen.

    “This flower feels differe–”

    The flower stalk shook violently.

    A tiny voice shrieked, “Bee!” as a gust of wind knocked Cora to the ground.

    She shook herself off and took flight disoriented.

    Cora dodged around monsters, princesses, and superheroes swatting at her. Even the sunflower batted her away.

    Making her escape, she landed atop a fence post. Warm hues painted the sky and Cora soaked in what might be her last sunset.

    A familiar scent tickled her senses. The Northwesterly wind lured her to follow.

    Gathering her strength, Cora flew to the highest treetop.

    Over the horizon, shades of amber and yellow waved back. Sunflowers.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. So well done, Gretchen. I felt for Cora and hope this time, the flowers were real. Thanks for showing how our traditions can actually confuse the wonderful creatures that help keep us alive, what a timely pice, my friend. Thanks so much for sharing!

      Like

  53. Image #7 (198 words)

    ON THE PUMPKIN PATCH
    by Vashti Verbowski

    “Pick me. Pick me,” exclaimed Pumpkin.
    But other pumpkins were hugged, balanced atop heads, and taken home.
    Pumpkin would be patient.
    “I’m going to pick the biggest pumpkin.”
    “I’ll find the scariest pumpkin.”
    “I want the weirdest pumpkin.”
    Pumpkin tried to look plumper.
    Pumpkin put on a creepy face.
    Pumpkin’s yellow streak was pretty peculiar.
    But the sky turned darker, the ground grew cooler, and no one picked Pumpkin.
    Pumpkin would try harder.
    Pumpkin pulled up more water. And concentrated. Grow! Grow! Grow!
    But pumpkin stayed small.
    Spiders are scary, thought Pumpkin. With stem and leaves, Pumpkin helped the spiders spin their webs.
    But Pumpkin decided that spiders were much too frightening, and rolled over.
    Maybe I’ll stand out if I’m upside down, hoped Pumpkin.
    But no one noticed.
    It was almost Halloween.
    “Time to go.”
    “I’m still looking dad!”
    Fog crept into the patch. Pumpkin would be hidden in seconds.
    “I’ll be fine on my own,” whispered Pumpkin as misty droplets rolled to the ground. “At least I’ll have a spooky Halloween.”
    “Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s it! The one with the lightening bolt.”
    [Child hugs Pumpkin]
    Pumpkin’s insides turned to mush, “You picked me!”
    “The perfect pumpkin.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What a sweet story of effort and triumph, so glad pumpkin found what Pumpkin wanted, and after finally deciding things would be fine as is. Sometimes the acceptance ends up seeming to lead to what we want. Thanks so much for sharing!

      Like

  54. Name: Jenny Buchet
    Entry Photo Number: 5, 150-w
    (Thank you kind judges & amazing Kaitlyn! Looking forward to reading everyone’s work–and love that it’s of all age ranges! Alright, here goes. All other info in spreadsheet as requested 🙂 )

    “Waiting”

    Atop the tallest tree,
    Under the hallowed moon
    Fiddlesticks watched and waited
    To ride with her witch on a broom

    From the nub of her nose
    To the tips of her toes-
    Fiddlesticks stayed statue-still

    Tail twitching
    Whiskers swishing,
    Fiddlesticks studied the sky

    As time ticked-tocked on
    And the night grew long
    The cat bided her time

    But waiting is tough
    And really quite rough
    For a cat who wants to fly!

    Tail twirling,
    Body bending,
    Fiddlesticks squirmed with hope

    Heart yearning
    Mind churning
    Fiddlesticks wriggled with need

    If no witch…
    If no broom…
    Then no flight by the moon?

    Head scratching
    Plan hatching
    Fiddlesticks had an idea!

    The moon beckoned and
    So the cat reckoned
    That she would wait no more

    Tail stretched
    Body flexed
    Fiddlesticks leapt with faith!

    Around the tallest trees,
    Beneath the hallowed moon
    A witch cheered for her cat
    As she sailed without a broom
    ~~

    Liked by 4 people

  55. Image #1
    Submission is YA, 200 words
    Age level of prize preferred: MG

    RAMBLES
    by Mare Hagarty

    I stepped into the woods, slipping through shadows, and for a second life was perfect. Then I saw her. Without my glasses, she was a blue blur, all sharp edges and hollows. I squinted. Did I know her…?

    Nope.

    I wasn’t afraid. I was never afraid of stories whispered in the dark, turning my sister’s sleepovers sleepless. This was just a girl.

    “You’re trespassing,” I yelled. “You lost?”

    Stranger-girl didn’t slow, and when I reached the bend, the path stretching past the marsh was empty. No matter.

    I breathed in brine, earth, rot—mine, all mine.

    Thraaaack!

    I wasn’t afraid, just curious. Was that a fox? Or the whispy girl hiding behind an oak, risking poison ivy, just to scare me?

    Or maybe…I was the “ghost”, caught by her phone to be uploaded for the world to worry over, my freckled skin pale. I glared at the fattest maple. “Whoooooohoooooooo! Okay? Enjoy your rash.”

    Was that a sigh or just the wind? The air was toasted, and I was never afraid, but I shivered.

    Then I saw her, close, closer, all flickering smiles. She knew me.

    I was afraid.

    This place was hers, and I was falling.

    Falling…

    Liked by 5 people

  56. A GOOD WITCH, PERHAPS
    By: Jillian Holmes
    Image 7 (hands holding pumpkin)
    196 words

    Hello… excuse me? Jack, is it?

    Just a minute. No need to be frightened. I
    was just stopping by with this gift. From my garden.

    See, it was just lying there. So perfectly round, so deliciously orange. And I thought, I bet that nice boy Jack might like this pumpkin.

    Especially after his friend . . . Bryce, I believe? Yes, Bryce. Especially after clumsy Bryce dropped poor Jack’s pumpkin on my front stoop. Pumpkin bits all over.

    I saw the whole thing from my window. A shame, really.

    Well, I thought you might like a new pumpkin.
    You could make a Jack O’Lantern. Or a pie. Or smash it to smithereens, if you’d like. It’s yours now.

    It’s always nice to be friendly with your neighbors, isn’t it Jack?

    You see, my boy, there is such thing as a good witch. Some witches are kind. Generous. Neighborly, even. Some of them.

    Well, here you are then. I must be going. If you need anything I’m just across the way. Goodbye now.

    And Jack? Next time you see Bryce? Be a good neighbor and send him my way, would you? I’ve got something for him as well.

    Thanks Jack.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh, beautiful! So well done–I had goosebumps the entire time I was reading, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Poor Bryce. I’m worried about what the witch will give to him.

      Like

  57. Entry for Jillian Holmes

    A GOOD WITCH, PERHAPS
    By: Jillian Holmes
    Image 7 (hands holding pumpkin)
    196 words

    Hello… excuse me? Jack, is it?

    Just a minute. No need to be frightened. I was just stopping by with this gift. From my garden.

    See, it was just lying there. So perfectly round, so deliciously orange. And I thought, I bet that nice boy Jack might like this pumpkin.

    Especially after his friend . . . Bryce, I believe? Yes, Bryce. Especially after clumsy Bryce dropped poor Jack’s pumpkin on my front stoop. Pumpkin bits all over.

    I saw the whole thing from my window. A shame, really.

    Well, I thought you might like a new pumpkin.
    You could make a Jack O’Lantern. Or a pie. Or smash it to smithereens, if you’d like. It’s yours now.

    It’s always nice to be friendly with your neighbors, isn’t it Jack?

    You see, my boy, there IS such thing as a good witch. Some witches are kind. Generous. Neighborly, even. Some of them.

    Well, here you are then. I must be going. If you need anything I’m just across the way. Goodbye now.

    And Jack? Next time you see Bryce? Be a good neighbor and send him my way, would you? I’ve got something for him as well.

    Thanks Jack.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. Natalie Cohn
    E-mail: mady123@live.com
    Twitter: @CohnNatalie
    Prize: PB, Country US
    Image # 10, Words: 194

    A Room of Shadows

    Ivan Inkwell, the sorcerer’s apprentice, collects kid’s shadows for fun. He loves to play with them to keep him company. Until one day, a kid name Davey sees him in action.

    Knock!
    Knock!

    SquEEAk!

    “Who are you,” Ivan asks?

    “I’m Davey. I know what you did.”

    “So!”

    “Well, shadows make a person whole. I’ve seen you at school. You are not normal,” Davey says.

    “My mom wants me to be regular, but it’s hard.” Ivan felt terrible; he loves playing games with the shadow kids. “Please, do not tell my mom about the room of shadows. I hide the room from others. Come on, Davey, I’ll show you.”

    “It’s creepy in your house, but that’s pretty neat.”

    Ivan perks up. Inside the room, shadows wisp around us.

    “Watch, I’ll show you what the shadow kids can do.”

    Whoosh! Swoosh!

    “No one ever visits me. Would you like to play with the shadows?”

    “Sure,” Davey says hesitantly. The shadow kids bring Ivan and Davey together.

    Ivan realizes now, shadows are essential.

    With help from Davey, Ivan releases the other shadows back into the world.

    Liked by 3 people

  59. A Mouse’s Only Weapon is Love
    by: Brenda A. Harris
    Image 5: cat in tree at dusk
    Words: 192
    Late CB

    In a tree crouched Rodo, tail swinging, invisible to two mice in the midst of a furious fight.

    “You tripped me!”

    “You started it!”

    “Did not!”

    Rodo landed noiselessly. His front paws surrounded the fighting hairballs. A triumphant chuckle ensued.

    Sis and Bro instinctively stopped. As their eyes took in the enormous beast, their tails grasped each other tightly.
    Rodo grinned.

    The mice stood petrified.

    “Lucky me! A double serving of my favorite snack,” said the cat. Delicately, he dug his sharp claws into the mice. He lifted the wide-eyed siblings to his mouth.

    “I could be greedy and eat you both at once?” He smirked. “A mouthful of fresh meat and crunchy bones would be lovely.” He raised an eyebrow. “Or, perhaps eat one first and enjoy the musical squeaks of fright coming from my second victim?” Rodo thumped his tail. “Oh, choices, choices.”

    To Rodo’s surprise the mice began to argue.

    “Sis, you’re revoltingly dirty. Nasty! Even the town cats are afraid of getting food poisoning from you.”

    “Well Bro, you bathe in cat poop! Finding maggots in your coat is repulsive.”

    Aghast, Rodo covered his nose and took off.

    Liked by 4 people

  60. Pingback: FRENZY! |
  61. Name: Amanda Davis
    Twitter @amandadavisart
    Email: amanda@amandadavisart.com
    Image: #9
    Word Count: 158
    Age Level of Prize (Preferred): PB
    Country: USA

    Laughter in the Shadows
    By Amanda Davis

    Souls awaken.

    They cross the many miles.

    Hear their laughter as they near.

    One stands tall. Well-dressed. Elegant. A lady like no other. She leads the pack as they approach. Marigolds sprinkled in front of her. One step. Two steps. She draws near. Her smile is unrelenting. A grinning skull filled with joy.

    My sweet, sweet Catrina. I’ve been waiting. Your hallowed scent encases me. Your eyes shine bright through the gloom of night. They speak to me. They tell me your story.

    A story of a soul that was taken too soon. Poisoned by disease as it swam through your veins. Without mercy. Without regret. A story of joy beyond the darkness. Of light amongst the deep unknown. You do not fear the shadows. Instead you laugh. Hard and loud. Right in death’s face. You cackle. A strong, stony cackle. Without ever saying a word, I take your cold hand, and we venture to the other side.

    Liked by 5 people

  62. Thelia Hutchinson
    Email: theliah@hotmail.com
    Image #1
    Words: 104

    SEASON OF YOU

    In the midst, I see you.
    Yet you are far away.
    The shadows are surrounding and the light is a glare.
    The breeze is slightly chilling,
    The foliage in full bloom.
    The road to everlasting, and our destination is soon.
    I want to meet you halfway, so you can hold my hand.
    I want to have you next to me, so you can understand.
    The trees alongside, the distance between.
    The vision of coming together, the journey to be seen.
    The steps we make will take us, but together we must choose.
    The season is among us and the road will lead us through.

    Liked by 4 people

  63. AUCTION-MOUSE by Genevieve Puttay
    @GenevievePuttay
    Inspired by Image 4
    174 words

    “Roll up, roll up!” A dapper sootish mouse with a permanently puffed-up chest and glint in his eye, tapped the edge of the Baked Beans can that he stood on, and cleared his throat. “It is the day after Halloween… And you know what that means? That’s right, Gentlemice! HOUSES FOR SALE!”

    The town-mice edged closer; casting longing looks at the higgledy-piggledy pile of carved pumpkins lolling next to the wheelie-bin. They all wanted one.

    “We’ve got big ones, small ones, ones with windows, ones with TWO windows…” the auctioneer rattled on, watching the eyes of his patrons grow wider.

    “Five nuggets of cheese for the one with the crooked smile!” a portly mouse with a missing front tooth shouted from the back.

    “TEN!” The old church-mouse narrowed her eyes.

    “FIFTEEN NUGGETS OF CHEESE AND A BUNDLE OF FLUFF!” The tailor-mouse waved his paw, tripping over his mouselings who were hopped up with glee.

    The auctioneer glanced at the pumpkins with their rictus grins. ‘Keep smiling’, he thought deliciously. ‘Halloween’s not over yet.’

    “SOLD!”

    Liked by 6 people

  64. One, Two, Three
    By Lisa Lee Furness
    Image 11
    86 words

    Perched high up on the branch, two watched.
    Through the distant glaring sky, a house stood all ablaze.
    Their feathers wilted from the heat while
    Angry flames ripped through dark spaces that were once windows.
    Once full of love and laughter,
    The house succumbed to his unimaginable evil.
    Impulse or calculated?
    That night, one made a decision with traumatic effects
    In the community where friends were made,
    And where three were loved and nurtured.
    No more.
    Only one knows, while two watched, as three became angels.

    Liked by 4 people

  65. (I apologize if this is posted twice – I tried to comment last night but I’m not sure it worked because I had issues logging into WordPress.)

    Two Lovebirds Under an Orange Sky
    (Picture 11)

    “Would you look at that sunset.”
    “You know what they say about an orange sky, don’t you?”
    “No. What?”
    “It’s gonna be a hot day tomorrow.”
    “Pfft. That’s an orange moon, not an orange sky.”
    “Well, look at you, all scientific.”
    “I did actually win first place in the science fair last year.”
    “That was Tommy, you doofus.”
    “With my help.”
    “Ha. Sure.”
    “I was his inspiration to recreate flight based on a bird’s wings.”
    “And what did you get for it, hmm? A few bread crumbs? If you hang around Jessica’s house, you get pieces of doughnut.”
    “All you think about is your stomach.”
    “Well. That’s not ALL I think about.”
    “…What a beautifully orange sky there is tonight.”
    “Yes. Would you just look at that sunset.”

    Liked by 5 people

  66. Entry for Vashti Verbowski

    Image #7 (198 words)

    ON THE PUMPKIN PATCH
    by Vashti Verbowski

    “Pick me. Pick me,” exclaimed Pumpkin.
    But other pumpkins were hugged, balanced atop heads, and taken home.
    Pumpkin would be patient.
    “I’m going to pick the biggest pumpkin.”
    “I’ll find the scariest pumpkin.”
    “I want the weirdest pumpkin.”
    Pumpkin tried to look plumper.
    Pumpkin put on a creepy face.
    Pumpkin’s yellow streak was pretty peculiar.
    But the sky turned darker, the ground grew cooler, and no one picked Pumpkin.
    Pumpkin would try harder.
    Pumpkin pulled up more water. And concentrated. “Grow! Grow! Grow!”
    But pumpkin stayed small.
    “Spiders are scary,” thought Pumpkin. With stem and leaves, Pumpkin helped the spiders spin their webs.
    But Pumpkin decided that spiders were much too frightening, and rolled over.
    “Maybe I’ll stand out if I’m upside down,” hoped Pumpkin.
    But no one noticed.
    It was almost Halloween.
    “Time to go.”
    “I’m still looking dad!”
    Fog crept into the patch. Pumpkin would be hidden in seconds.
    “I’ll be fine on my own,” whispered Pumpkin as misty droplets rolled to the ground. “At least I’ll have a spooky Halloween.”
    “Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s it! The one with the lightening bolt.”
    [Child hugs Pumpkin]
    Pumpkin’s insides turned to mush, “You picked me!”
    “The perfect pumpkin.”

    Liked by 5 people

  67. Hi Kaitlyn! Thanks for thinking of this. It made me write a poem! 😊 And thanks too to the wonderful community of generous people/donors of critiques and goodies! I hope I get one! 😊

    The Laborers
    52 words
    Picture 5
    PB

    The moon is a torch in the sky.
    It clears the clouds, away they drift.
    When the shroud is out of the way,
    They will man the graveyard shift.

    A bleeding moon gives again from its heart,
    lighting up the laborers’ path.
    Tonight they will work while others dream —-
    The poet and her cat.#

    Liked by 4 people

  68. Night Watch

    By Janice Woods
    PB | 146 words | Picture #5

    Glittering green eyes stalk the autumn night.
    Their mission is to ease your worry.
    “Who is there?” they demand.
    Not a sound can be heard. Not a whisper of a breeze.

    Moonglow casts down on the old, bare tree.
    Up, up climb the glittering green eyes.
    Up to the lookout, the sentry scurries.
    “Who is there?” they beseech.
    Not a sound can be heard. Not a whisper of a breeze.

    Glittering green eyes see nothing awry in the darkness.
    Harvest aromas and deep night shadows play tricks on their sleepy senses.
    “Who is there?” they implore.
    Not a sound can be heard. Not a whisper of a breeze.

    Rest easy and relax your fears.
    Peaceful slumber is yours.
    From the observatory above, glittering green eyes patrol the darkness below.
    “I am here.” they declare.
    Not a sound can be heard. Not a whisper of a breeze.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Even though this is the shortest entry I’ve seen so far, you’ve packed a powerful punch–gorgeous language to go with the image!

      Like

  69. Boxed In (193 Words)
    Image 12
    By Kristina Castillo

    When I said I was going to Sarah’s, I wasn’t lying. I just never made it.

    She’ll think I lied. She won’t come looking for me.

    Which leaves me here. In the dark. The cold. The silence.

    If I only had a blanket. Or a sweatshirt. Something to keep my teeth from chattering.

    He won’t come back tonight. Probably passed out drunk. He always drinks too much. And smells so rotten, almost sour. If he sees tomorrow, he may not want to remember what he did. I don’t.

    There is a crack in the wood, at the roof. If you can even call it a roof. When I close my right eye, I can see the moon. It’s full. Which brings out the crazies and makes the crazies even crazier. I knew Al was nuts, but I didn’t know he was this twisted.

    Mom probably won’t believe me. She will say it is another lie, crafted by my colorful imagination. But, who would imagine this?

    If I did tell her, she would just crumble. Into tiny, tiny pieces. Which I would have to put back together.

    Assuming I make it out of here.

    Liked by 5 people

  70. Candy Crushed
    By Mia Geiger

    195 words
    Image #8
    PB Manuscript Critique

    “Finally!”

    I zip up my superhero costume. My sister Sadie and I
    grab our plastic pumpkins.

    Tonight’s the only time Mom
    lets us have gummy
    candy. “Cavities,” she says.

    Gummy fish …
    gummy worms … gummy hearts —
    all that gumminess …
    YUM!

    First up: Mr. Robbin’s house.

    “Trick or treat!”
    Ooo, purple worms …
    Yes!

    Next, Mrs. Williams’.

    “Trick or treat!”
    Pink squishy fish?
    YAY

    Now, Mr. Sanders’. He gives pretzels.
    Mom likes them, though.

    “Trick or treat!”
    SHINY GREEN SNAKES?
    Wowza!

    Sadie grabs my hand.
    “STOP! Mom said
    no eating until we get home.”

    Drat.

    I hold my pumpkin tightly. “That’s a long time.”

    After a few more houses,
    I say, “Just one?”’

    “Mom said no!”

    Later …

    SPLAT! My candy
    takes up half the
    kitchen table.

    “LOOK, MOM!”

    “Mmmhmm,” she says,
    moving some to the
    side.

    “HUH? … HEY! Put those back!”

    Mom explains.

    “Noooooooo …”

    Mom shakes her head.

    “Who made that rule,”
    I ask. “Unwrapped is fine —
    faster to eat!”

    Mom points.

    “Aw, man.

    “Lucky trash can!”

    I slowly refill my pumpkin.
    Wait … How’d I miss that? …

    … A crinkly package, stuck to the bottom.

    Sadie and I exchange looks.

    We both grab it.

    WOOHOO!

    Ah, sweet gumminess.

    “Finally!

    Liked by 4 people

  71. Superstitious
    By: Maryna Doughty
    Word Count: 200
    Image #5

    People call me a scaredy cat, but I’m not.
    I just don’t like bad luck.

    On Halloween, I take precautions to ensure a safe night—or year. Or seven years.
    “Wendy,” I say, “no mirrors in the house.”
    “But I’ve never broken any before,” she says.
    “Quick! Bring me your broomstick. We need to knock on wood.”

    Surely, I get into the Halloween spirit.
    I decorate…
    “What are you hanging up?” Wendy asks.
    “A rabbit’s foot,” I say.
    “So spooky!”
    “Wendy, wait! Don’t walk under my ladder!”

    I bake delicious treats…
    “Mmmm…cookie dough!” Wendy squeals.
    “Hold on, it needs a pinch of salt. Could you pass me the—”
    Clunk.
    “Oh no! Wendy, quick! Toss some over your shoulder!”

    I even help Wendy get ready…
    “Glitter?” I say. “You can be a sparkly witch.”
    “But I’m that every year. Can’t I be something else?”
    “No, Wendy. Then you’ll want to see what you look like.”
    “What’s wrong with that?”
    “Mirrors, Wendy. We can’t have any.”
    “We need one.”
    “Why?”
    “It’s important you know what you look like. It’ll help you stop being such a scaredy cat.”
    “I’m not—”
    “Here, look…”
    “Ahhh! A black cat! Why didn’t you tell me?!”

    Liked by 6 people